- FanDuel has announced a partnership with Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort to bring retail sports betting to Washington State.
- The FanDual at Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort retail sportsbook will open ‘this fall’.
- Mobile sports betting in Washington State remains ‘TBA’.
FanDuel continues to extend their footprint across the United States with the announcement that they’ll be launching in Washington State this fall. In a press release dated earlier today, FanDuel Group and Port Madison Enterprises announced plans ‘to bring America’s #1 Sportsbook to the state of Washington’. FanDuel Group will form an exclusive partnership with the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort to bring retail sports betting to the state of Washington. The retail facility at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort is slated to open ‘this fall’.
Sports betting went live in Washington State in early September. For now, there’s retail sports betting though the state completely bungled mobile betting. In other words, they created a sports betting infrastructure that will provide few benefits to anyone and is all but guaranteed to underperform. The only mobile sports betting that is currently allowed under Washington State gaming law is geofenced to the individual property. That means the only place in the state where you can use, say, the FanDuel mobile app is in a facility with a FanDuel retail sportsbook aka ‘the only place in the state where you don’t *need* a FanDuel mobile app.
Washington screwed up sports betting in yet another way–they failed to extend sports betting to the many commercial card rooms in the state. There are several dozen of these facilities throughout Washington State despite the concerted effort of the state government (no doubt at the behest of financial benefactors in the tribal gaming lobby) to run them out of business. They’ve been limited in what games they can offer, maximum bet size and the hours they can operate. They’ve also seen their tax rate increased from 5% to 20%. The bottom line is that they can’t offer slot machines, video poker, video lottery terminals or pulltabs aka ‘the most profitable forms of gaming’. Now they can’t offer sports betting due to the machinations of the powerful tribal gaming interests. If you’re not going to have mobile sports betting you’d think that the state would want to maximize the footprint of retail sportsbooks. Unfortunately, since Washington State only operates gaming as a way to enrich cronies and empower themselves politically that is not the case.
The good news about companies like FanDuel getting involved with retail sports betting in Washington State is that they also have deep pockets and want to see mobile betting as well. There’s at least the possibility that with big corporations such as FanDuel and IGT (which also announced plans for a Washington retail sportsbook today) entering the state that they can exert pressure on the powers that be to get sports betting done right.
Here’s the description of the new FanDuel retail property:
The brand new FanDuel Sportsbook at Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort will feature three live betting windows and twelve self-service betting terminal kiosks. The sportsbook will have 17 screens to feature all of the game-day action, which includes a 32′ x 9′ high-definition video wall and comfortable club chair seating. Additionally, three self-service betting kiosks will be located in the Casino’s Beach Rock Music and Sports Lounge, which features 11 screens, including a 24.5′ x 11.5′ screen and seating for over 250 people.
Sports bettors and guests visiting Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort will be able to enjoy a FanDuel Sportsbook retail experience that fans in other states have grown to love, featuring an incredible game-day atmosphere with wagering options available across all major sporting events.
Rion Ramirez, CEO of Port Madison Enterprises, the business arm of the Suquamish Tribe, is obviously a man of few words:
“We are excited to partner with FanDuel, America’s #1 Sportsbook, and to be their exclusive partner in Washington State.”
Greg George, Port Madison Enterprises Board President, was a bit more verbose:
“We are looking forward to offering sports wagering at our property for the first time and to making the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort Washington’s premier destination for sports betting and the best game-day experience for all of our casino guests.”
Next up, Leonard Forsman, Chairman of the Suquamish Tribe with his quote on the FanDuel partnership:
“We are so pleased with the recent addition of sports wagering to our gaming compact, making sports betting legal in the state for the first time. Revenue from sports wagering will help support the Suquamish Tribe’s important governmental services offered to both tribal members and the local non-tribal community.”
Finally, Keith Wall, Vice President of Retail, FanDuel Group, gives the quote from his side of the table:
“We are excited to partner with Port Madison Enterprises and the Suquamish Tribe to bring America’s #1 Sportsbook to the state of Washington. The Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort will be a truly impressive location for the West Coast expansion of our FanDuel Sportsbook retail operations.”
I’ve seen a lot of huge numbers attached to sports betting in the United States. Unfortunately, the tendency of state government to use sports betting as a political tool to curry favor with powerful interests and a means of rewarding their financial benefactors is the surest way to ‘kill the golden goose’. The way things are going there will be less than 10 states in the US with decent sports betting, while the rest of the country languishes in the dark ages due to the hubris of their elected officials.